Next up in our projection series is Daniel Murphy. This time last year, Murphy was one of the hottest topics surrounding the Mets. Could he handle playing second base? Could he play the position without getting killed? Would his defensive problems completely negate his offensive contributions? Since Murphy played the entire year without either getting hurt or being the worst defensive second baseman in baseball, those questions have mostly faded away.
Yet his offense did not match what he put up a season ago and his defense was definitely below average. Now, with a full year playing second base under his belt, should we look to Murphy to improve on his numbers from a year ago? Here’s how we see things shaping up for him:
DRS stands for Defensive Runs Saved. Here’s an easy to understand definition of the stat:
“… the numbers determines (using film study and computer comparisons) how many more or fewer successful plays a defensive player will make than league average. For instance, if a shortstop makes a play that only 24% of shortstops make, he will get .76 of a point (1 full point minus .24). If a shortstop BLOWS a play that 82% of shortstops make, then you subtract .82 of a point. And at the end, you add it all up and get a plus/minus.” (Joe Posnanski, Sports Illustrated)
The group seems to think that Murphy will put up a better season offensively than he did in 2012 but we are all over the place in how we think he will do defensively. Among qualified second baseman last year, Murphy finished 19th out of 22 players with a (-11) DRS. The range was from +28 (Darwin Barney) to -30 (Rickie Weeks).
Here is what our group thinks Murphy will do in 2013:
My projection was not included in the table above to make it easier to come up with the median for the ratio numbers. Here’s my prediction: 590 PA, .285/.334/.435, 13 HR, 70 RBIs, 0 DRS.
Finally, let’s close with a table comparing the Mets360 numbers to those of two projection systems – Bill James and ZiPS.
Neither of the systematic projection systems forecasts DRS.
The biggest surprise is that our group expects Murphy to display more over the fence power. ZiPS continues to see things unfavorably for the Mets. The playing time forecast is affected by Murphy missing all of 2010 and one-third of 2011, but even ignoring that ZiPS sees Murphy with the lowest ISO of all, with a 115 mark.
Our forecasts will continue to run on Thursdays and Saturdays.